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Progress Report 2023 Week 04

The year 2023 continues its tradition, if I can use the word “tradition” to apply to a mere three week period, of being “interesting.” It’s mostly because I tried for a stretch goal this week. It worked — insofar as it demonstrated that what I tried failed! Let’s talk about that after we look at the numbers.

Progress Report 2023 Week 04 By the Numbers

It’s hard to know what word reduction count means it was a good week!

One of my goals for last week was to begin the final draft of Primary Target. As you can see, that’s underway!

Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target has 75 chapters. I’ve edited 33 of them so far. Based on an idea from Lee Child’s video Review Your Writing Daily, I’m reading out loud. I’m almost half done.

At the risk of repeating myself, I cannot believe how much reading aloud catches relative to reading silently. Right now, I’m debating whether to push the manuscript through another Pro Writing Aid pass, or to send it right to a proof reader. I’m still in the exploratory phase of my editing process. This is, after all, just the third book I’m going to publish. So maybe I’ll invest the time and see what Pro Writing Aid finds.

Even a Failed Experiment Can Be a Success

Toward the end of last year, I tried a few Bookbub ads. I got to the point where my click conversion rate was where I wanted it. So last week, I decided to see if I could improve that. In 2022, this graphic gave me the best success:

This graphic gave me an acceptable click to purchase ratio.

Last week, I tried a different graphic:

Please keep in mind that data is helpful, even if it’s not good news.

After reviewing the results, I can confidently say that the second ad did not result in more sales than the first. Not even close. In my defense, I wanted to know if the changing only the verbiage would have an impact. And boy did I learn.

There are two lessons I took away from this:

  1. Do not go off on my own and write ad copy
  2. Always run my ad copy past my wife, who knows that stuff better than I do

And yes, the second lesson is just a more precise restatement of the first. I wrote it that way for emphasis. I will say that I’m disappointed I am still so thoroughly not getting ad copy. By now, I had hoped to have an idea of what would work and what would not. Still, I have more data, so I’ll call this a win.

Goals from Last Week

As you know, I started the final draft for Primary Target. Here’s how far I got on the other two goals:

Research a Proofreader forĀ Primary Target

I liked jesshay, the proofreader from Fiverr who I hired to edit Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath. She’s still in the running for Primary Target, but I’m in experimentation mode, so I’m asking for bids from some other editors. I’m staying away from Reedsy; I just don’t have the patience to deal with attitude right now. My life has too many moving parts for me to off-handedly toss a wrench into the works.

Begin bidding on the cover for Primary Target

I’ll probably start on this next week or the week after. I have to sequence my spends — I don’t want to pile up too many expenses in a given month. Cash flow concerns might turn out to be a bigger impact on my publishing schedule than my how much I can write!

I’m inclined to go with Jesh Art Studio again. I love the work they did on my first two covers. I want to experiment as much as possible, so I may explore other options. That said, I really did like the first two covers! So we’ll see.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 04

  • Continue working on the final draft of Primary Target
  • Continue exploring proofreaders
  • Collect bids on the cover for Primary Target

What Do You Think?

How do you find your editors? Do you use a service like Fiverr? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!